I must respectfully disagree with the above reviewer and agree with the Penguin guide which gives this recording it's highest highest 4 star rating and a "key". Are we hearing the same disc? This performance of Berlioz's great symphony is electric from beginning to end. It is a wild no holds barred performance that will leave you wondering how they did it. The performance was from a live Royal Albert Hall Proms concert in 1971 and is a must for anyone who likes this work. Get a load of the wild cheering from the Londoners!!
If you can find it Zecchi's performance with the Czech Phil from 1959 on the old Supraphonet label is a great one. Just listen to the power of the brass at the end. Rozhdestvensky's performance with the State Symphony Orch of the Ministry of Culture from 1988 is pretty good also - on the extinct Russian Revelation label.
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I was misled by a gushng review in the Gramophone into buying this lackluster CD. The Berlioz is in dull, cavernous stereo from 1971, the venue being Albert Hall. Rozhdestvensky, who can tactfully be called a vairable conductor and impolitely called a lazy one, gives Symphonie fantastique a generally staid reading that occasionally erupts with loud, crude energy.
The Tchaikovsky raises the stakes considerably. It's a fervent reading, in mono from 1960, of Francesca da Rimini. The Leningrad Phil. is much more involved in this work, but a strong Francesca is hardly enough to salvage a reissue that is one of the weker ones from BBC Legends.